Central Coast Mayor, Lisa Matthews, has warned that the bushfire danger in the region is far from over after visiting bushfire impacted communities at Mangrove Mountain and Spencer on December 12.
“It is beyond belief really (that) we didn’t lose lives or homes, ” Cr Matthews said.
She said the visit had helped her understanding of what the communities have been living with day to day, for a number of weeks now. “There is no doubt that the stress of continual fire threat and poor air quality is impacting community spirit and their daily lives in a way that the rest of us can’t quite comprehend, ” Cr Matthews said.
“To see for myself, to talk to those in the communities affected, has given me a renewed appreciation and understanding of community resilience on the Coast. “They have really come together and supported each other during this difficult time. “They are facing a very different festive season to the rest of us and they really appreciated knowing that the whole Central Coast community is with them.
“I heard some amazing stories. “One Lady, a single parent at Kulnura, told me how she had protected her home by eliminating all fuel sources around the property – including replacing all her wooden fencing with wire and connecting a sprinkler system to her roof. “The resilience of these people is amazing. “When I met with them they were laughing and smiling – but very aware of how serious things are.
“There are also a number of specialist services available to which I encouraged them to reach out and access and find the support they need during this time. ”
Council’s Director Environment and Planning, Scott Cox, said it was important for the community to remain vigilant as the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) continues to fight and monitor the fires in and around the Central Coast LGA. “It is vital that all Central Coast community members regularly refer to the information provided by the RFS, who are the lead agency for bush fires, ” Cox said.
Council encourages all residents to continue to monitor the RFS Fires Near Me app and website, and to follow the NSW RFS and NSW RFS Central web pages. Disaster Recovery Services are available on 1800 018 444. The council also advised the following mental health services were available to offer support: Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511; Lifeline – 131 114; Mensline – 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800; and Beyondblue – 1300 224 636
Source: Media release, Dec 13 Central Coast Council